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Optimal Party Challenge

Posted: 10th January 2008 01:32

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Onion Knight
Posts: 49

Joined: 27/10/2005

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This is a simple, but fun challenge for hardcore players who like planning and strategy. As opposed to grinding-focused challenges like the SCCs, this challenge emphasizes on playing the game the way it was designed to be played.
This challenge is not about having all characters master all jobs.
If you have completed this challenge before, or just want to add some difficulty to the game, try the challenge with an added handicap or two (or even with all of them).

Rules:
- All jobs must be used.
- Usage of each job is restricted to a single character.
- All jobs must be mastered before facing the final boss.
- No character may have mastered all of "their" jobs before Necrofobia (at the very end).
- No powerleveling until after Necrofobia, and only at the final areas, where you gain no Exp, only ABP.

Make a setup where you have chosen which jobs each character should master. The setup should distribute the abilities in the most effective way.

Example setup:
Code
Butz    Lenna   Galuf   Faris  

Knight  WhMage  Thief   BlMage  
TmMage  Summon  RedMage Berserk
Monk    BluMage Samurai Hunter  
Chemist Dancer  Geomncr Dragoon
Mediatr MKnight Bard    Ninja  
Mimic  

Optional handicaps:
- No ethers or elixirs
- No Healing Staff
- No job switching between save points
- No Mimic (job)
- No rare steals
- No Reset
- No tents or cabins(hard)
- Play the Expert hack, by JCE300GT: Patch
- Come up with your own extra rules


Post your setup of choice, and explain why you think it is the Optimal Party setup.

This post has been edited by Jorgur on 26th March 2008 12:04
Post #161327
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Posted: 15th January 2008 00:53

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Dragoon
Posts: 1,796

Joined: 15/11/2003

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So the challenge here is to get the most done with the least bit of effort?

if that's the case I don't understand why classes would have to be mastered.
since if you're going to dispatch all bosses optimally it goes down to strategy and knowldege of the game.

and wouldn't it essentially just become a low level challenge for the sake of bragging rights?

or would it ultimately end up being measured by how many turns were taken to defeat each boss? (which would make the most sense)

--------------------
"Have you ever seen a baby do that before?"
Post #161472
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Posted: 24th January 2008 10:51

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Onion Knight
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Joined: 27/10/2005

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I suppose the challenge is to play the game normally with the most severe handicaps possible. What differs from plain "vanilla" FFV, is uniquely used jobs, and the fact that all jobs - including the less popular ones - must be used (hence the rule you mentioned).
All jobs, spread onto the four characters, can be mastered before the final boss without power-leveling at all (except a small amount in the final areas).

As opposed to grinding-focused challenges like the SCCs, this challenge emphasizes on playing the game the way it was designed to be played.

Some ways to measure one's success:
- How many / which handicaps are used
- How early did you beat Shiva
- Did you beat Prototype, Gil Turtle, Shinryu, Omega, how many turns did you use, etc.

If you find this challenge too easy, you can try the "expert" hack below.

Moderator Edit
This site does not condone the distribution of illegal ROMs on the forums or through its PM system. I therefore removed your offer to do so. happy.gif -Caesar

EDIT: Ok, I'll see if I can find an IPS patch instead
EDIT2: http://www.blitzkrieginnovations.net/ Check by their forums if you are interested in rom hacking, classic FF in particular.
You need a clean ROM of FFV, translated or not, with header. If you have a rom set, you will probably not find one there.Search the web instead.

This post has been edited by Jorgur on 25th January 2008 11:03
Post #161827
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Posted: 24th January 2008 20:52

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Dragoon
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Alright well when I start this (still burned from trying Dragoon and Black mage SJCC)

I'll follow the rules of
-No powerleveling
-As you travel, on the OW fight all enemies you pass while take the route to the next location.
-In dungeons fight as long as you're not going to die.
-Levels at all boss battles will be recorded
-number of turns will be recorded
-actions taken during turns will be recorded (and posted within spoiler)

and I guess #of turns/ Average level could be a fair ratio for comparison.

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"Have you ever seen a baby do that before?"
Post #161833
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Posted: 16th March 2008 21:54
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Returner
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I spent far too long and far too much thought on this. I think I finally have the optimal party, and will now add a very long post explaining why. (This will eventually grace GameFaqs, once I finish the bits not placed here.)

This is, as you see, a lot of information so I will forgive skim readers. If you have the time though, I'd welcome an equally detailed response.

***QUITE POSSIBLY THE PERFECT, MOST BALANCED CLASS SETUP***

Monk/Red/Caller/Time/Dragoon/Mimic
Black/Thief/Beserker/Elementalist/Trainer
White/Knight/Archer/Ninja/Dancer
Samurai/Blue/MysticKnight/Chemist/Bard

***AN EVALUATION OF CHARACTER CLASS CHOICES***

Here I explore the implications of my choices and justify them. This is recommended reading, as both the individual classes and the results of combining them just so are delved into here.

BUTZ

Monk - throughout the game the Monk is a real tank, able to both take and generate considerable punishment. The Monk has many useful abilities, such as Buildup for greatly increased damage, Brawl which gives the Red or Time Mage decent early attack potential from the back row early on, and HP bonuses if you'd prefer to defend your Red or Time Mage rather than attack with the character. The Monk pairs well with early magical specialists, especially if given time to develop - as Butz uses a lot of second-generation classes he is a suitable character. One of the high-HP group - does not pair with the Beserker, Samurai or Knight.

Red Mage - a moderately useful magical attacker and healer, the Red Mage is overtaken in power after the first third of the game by the more specialised classes. X-Magic allows double casts; the Red Mage is paired with Time and Caller for this.

Time Mage - this class is an esoteric one, capable of boosting the party. While nominally an attacker, the truth is the unreliability of the attack makes the class of limited use in this regard, especially against multiple foes. The class pairs well with the Red Mage and Caller as a Mimic can use X-Magic-Bahamut-Quick-X-Magic-Bahamut-Bahamut-Mimic. This one character, given the Mimic's three ability slots, can wipe out almost any (almost?) group of enemies in the game, MP permitting. Have a Hairpin and Chemist on hand, and well, you'll find be behind the sofa (bows and scrapes) most munificent of magisters, greatest of mages, ruler of the Circle (whimper)...

Caller - the Caller is an elite magical attacker. Callers can do unparalleled damage with highly expensive techniques. For reasons explained above, this class is paired with the Red Mage.

Dragoon - Dragoons are fun! They can Jump for greater accuracy and damage, and wield powerful weapons. With Dragonsword it is possible to drain HP and MP.

Mimic - As Gogo put it, "The trick to mimicking... is to imitate..." Well this is all the mimic is good for. I like to think of it as an upgrade to the Suppin, or Normal class because it behaves exactly like it with the exception of more limited equiment potential and greater flexibility in the Ability slots. You get the Mimic ability and any other three you desire, which do not have to include Fight or Item. So rather than Item you could add Combine instead; rather than fight X-Fight. I've given this to Butz as, with Quick, he can pump out five Bahamut or Meteo a turn at the cost of three. In an optimal-party game having a 'swiss army knife' character like this is all but essential.

CHARACTER SUMMARY - BUTZ

The Monk's Brawl is always useful, capable of doing significant back-row damage well in advance of the Mage's weapons, even if they were given more powerful ones through the Dragoon. At the same time the Mimic can eventually push the damage potential through to a near-infinite degree with the Red/Time/Summon combo, MP permitting. The Dragoon provides an armour class, powerful and accurate physical attacks with Jump and HP and MP draining ability. The Mimic will, with X-Magic, Call and Time, be your major damage dealer late-game. This character is perfect - every class contributes in some way to most of the other classes. As a point of order, the Monk is the highest HP class in the game, so our most powerful end-game character is also our most resilient. Brilliant!

LENNA

Black Mage - this class is a damage specialist, heavy on the elemental power. The elemental spells are multitargetable. Flare is an extremely powerful non-elemental attack. With Aspil the Black Mage is able to drain MP.

Thief - the Thief is an agile nabber of valuable goods. Later on the Capture skill is available and once mastered, the class significantly boosts Agility. The ability to Steal is a valuable asset, though this depends on your prey.

Beserker - the Beserker is worth having for truly unparalelled, if somewhat unreliable attack power. This is the only second-generation class given to Lenna, as this is just about the only way to give it a fair shout without another class stealing the limelight. One of the high-HP group - does not pair with the Knight, Samurai or Monk.

Elementalist - Elementalists are all but useless unless you need a free group attack, in which case it is only useless if your foes absorb it. However damage floors are a threat in some cases as are hidden pits; the Elementalist shines in protecting you from the former and warning you of the latter.

Trainer - very useful, the Trainer is able to Control foes. The class is not good for much else, as Release takes a lot of effort to set up for just one attack. Then again, you never can be sure what you'll get...

CHARACTER SUMMARY - LENNA

Lenna is the weak link in the party. As you lose her for a dungeon later on this is just as well! Black Magic - her speciality throughout the game - will make her a more capable magical opponent than Butz for a good portion of the game, although he will overtake her in this later on. Her only armour class is the Beserker. The Beserker is a real pain to place, and an even further pain to train, demanding 500 ABP total to master. Finding a time in which it is useful is rather difficult - if you are trying to steal Ethers in the Steamship you won't want this class. If you're Controlling enemies for Blue Magic, the Beserker is a liability. If you are keeping a boss alive for a bit in hopes of getting a certain Blue Magic, the Beserker is who will scupper your chances. Can't beat an enemy without Controlling it? The Beserker is the one who will see you dead. Trying to Catch a foe? The Beserker will probably kill it off before you can. Begin to see why it's so much of a pain? The Beserker is a viable choice if: You don't need advanced Black Magic, you don't need to Steal, you don't need Blue Magic, you don't need Control and you don't want to Catch a specific foe. The rest of the time you've got a heavily armoured warrior who, when the attack hits, will do unreliable (typically heavy) damage. The Beserker has been placed with the Trainer and Thief precisely BECAUSE it is such a pain to the Trainer and Thief. But enough about this powerful, temperamental class - I just needed to let off a bit of steam.

The Thief is able to Steal goods. Quite a lot of enemies carry expensive and valuable or otherwise hard-to-obtain goods, which will make Lenna useful in this regard. Steal will eventually upgrade to Capture, which attacks as well and in my experience at least gives a better chance of a successful Steal. Restless gives a very high agility boost to a character class, and is well suited to the Beserker. Elementalist is a purely technical class - quite a useful one at that if MP is scarce as it gives you a free random group or single attack. Sadly this is usually keyed to the elemental alignment of the area you are in; bearing in mind the enemy will often be keyed to this as well, the random effects may heal them making this unreliable at best. The Elementalist is able to both protect your party from damage floors and spot hidden pits; beyond these functions the Elementalist is somewhat vestigial. Lenna got this one because it was left over, in other words.
The Trainer is a real boon! So much so that you really should get the Control ability as soon as you have access to this class. Quite aside from Controlling the Prototypes of the southern part of the Crescent Archipelago, ordering them to self-destruct, this class will be instrumental in the acquisition of Blue Magic (too lengthy a topic for this brief paragraph).

GALUF

White Mage - the White Mage is your healer. Healing is essential as when healed, you will survive. The White Mage gains an attack spell towards the end of the game. This class pairs well with the Knight for its attack power; this does not come into full fruition until much training of the class has been done so that DblGrip is usable.

Knight - this class is able to do significant single-target damage early in the game; sadly Knights are prone to miss later on which is where the Archer's Aim comes in. The Knight pairs well with the Archer because of this. One of the high-HP group - does not pair with the Beserker, Samurai or Monk.

Archer - Archers have a wide range of elemental and specialist weapons. The Animals command is useful for various random effects if MP is scarce. Archers are able to Aim for greater accuracy, which is useful for the Knight. This class is able to strike multiple times; again the Knight could use this. The Archer pairs well with the Knight and Ninja, as Ninjas can use two weapons at once.

Ninja - this class is good for moderate damage group elemental attacks and high to very high non-elemental targeted attacks. Ninjas can wield two weapons. The White Mage in particular would appreciate the early group attacks, although outside the Ninja class they are half as effective.

Dancer - the Dancer is the earliest possible manadrainer, able to Sword Dance randomly for four times the damage. Dancers drain health, Confuse the enemy and equip Ribbons. White Magic is always of use, so the manadrain is useful.

CHARACTER SUMMARY - GALUF

This is another class setup which involves a mesh of complimentary abilities, possibly the most inter-reliant of the party. White Magic is so mind-bogglingly useful, both offensively (with Holy) and defensively (with the Cure series) that ensuring the White Mage is at a suitable level to use your full range of spells should be an overriding priority. That said, the Ninja's Throw will put that in the shade early on, forcing your poor Red Mage Butz into the healer's role. The Knight is an incredibly resiliant fighter who, with DblGrip, can do damage more associated with the Beserker or Monk. The Archer's Aim will allow the Knight to hit things later on in the game, while X-Fight with the Ninja allows eight spread attacks, albeit at half strength. That's before we consider the Dancer, who - with Sword Dance - can attack at quadrouple power without breaking confusion, tap into the enemies' health and mana (watch out for undead while doing this) and confuse the enemy. What a setup!

FARIS

Blue Mage - The Blue Mage's enemy skills are not, for the most part, all that useful. Aqua Rake is bugged in fact, as water-absorbing foes are still damaged by it while water-fearing foes are felled like ninepins. Big Guard (or Guardian) is acquired so late that most of the places it could have been useful have since been cleared. The Aero series are the only real claim to fame the Blue Mage has, as these spells are both more powerful and slightly cheaper than the Black series. The Aero series are seldom as advantageous as the correct elemental attacks either due to the Blue Mage's substandard Magic stat. Even skills such as Missile will be superseded or equalled by the other disciplines eventually. For all of that if you mean to ace the game you must collect each and every Blue skill, including such delights as Roulette and L5 Doom, Red Feast and Condemned, Goblin Punch and Death Claw, to name but a few marginally useful techniques. Certain combos and technical moves such as BlackShock > L5 Doom and GuardOff may be worth considering against tougher opponents. The Blue Mage is worth using early on as both a foot in the door and a basic magical opponent.

MysticKnight - a specialist elemental attacker, able to enchant swords even overriding existing spells in the blades. MysticKnights can only enchant with attack magic - no Cure3 or Haste swords are possible, unfortunately. Later on Flare and Holy give very powerful attacks on top of the blades themselves. MysticKnights are useful for targeted elemental attacks, especially when given to a character with little elemental ability such as our Blue Mage. SwordMagic can be used to drain mana later on.

Samurai - a specialist in group massive damage and instant kills. So specialised is the Samurai in these things that the class has little else of note, yet the tactical advantages are very great; this class can become supremely powerful.

Chemist - this is yet another specialist class. This class is an expert healer, with ability in HP and MP replenishment. Chemists can Mix for often quite powerful reflect-immune attacks. The Chemist is the only character able to restore all HP and MP at once to a downed character. The class can Revive all downed allies to minimal health simultaneously and heal most negative status ailments across all characters simultaneously, even when afflicted with most of them. Basic (non-mixed) items' effectiveness doubles. This class is incredibly useful, and having this class is a strong argument for giving the bearer the Mimic class.

Bard - useful only in the rarest of circumstances, as the most powerful of songs are those which are interrupted by attacks. Golem, Cover and Reflect are the best bet for preventing this from happening; however bosses - which are where the Bard's abilities would be best felt - are generally equipped to deal with such cheap tricks and punch through them. The Bard shines in a comparitively brief period, the Valley of the Hiryuu, during which period the Requiem song will prove itself useful. Bear in mind that even when interrupted the song's effects will be felt somewhat - the Speed Song shortens the ATB gauge to a sliver while the Hero Song, Magic Song and Power Song will boost your power in battle. If defended the Bard is a real boon; one risky option is to have the Bard on minimal health with a Knight covering and a Reflect Ring equipped. The Bard's songs will quite quickly make the remainder of the party fight for twelve, let alone four, so don't entirely neglect this much-underestimated class.

CHARACTER SUMMARY - FARIS

Faris has the potential to be a heavy hitter in a big way, while also having talent in more specialised support roles. Blue Magic is not that much use unless you are against a really tough enemy and need the specialist Blue Magic abilities like GuardOff, BlackShock and L5 Doom, although the Aero series will make itself felt. Early on she will be able to don heavy armour as a MysticKnight while attacking with elemental power; the honest truth is random battles end too quickly to really use this. Elemental power will not normally be of use except for boss battles. However, MagicSword is a means of draining health and mana. The Bard, which she will acquire next, is the very definition of a 'specialist' class - the Bard must be defended at all costs, or the duration songs will be too frequently interrupted to be of use. Try using the CharmSong in the Lonka Ruins, I promise you won't be disappointed. The Samurai is possibly one of the most powerful classes in the entire game, as GP Toss is more than capable of wiping out or severely weakening most bosses. The Chemist meanwhile is a powerful utility class, capable of mainly healing duties although such delights as Dragon Breath and Dark Flare are within the remit of this discipline. This is not a 'the whole is greater than the sum of the parts' setup, yet this does not matter as the parts themselves are self-justifying - it is unlikely, with the probable exception of Mix, that you will feel Faris is overloaded with abilities, and Mix is so useful you will likely feel that wherever you put it.

This post has been edited by Targ Collective on 16th March 2008 21:54
Post #164107
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Posted: 20th March 2008 21:49

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Onion Knight
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Joined: 27/10/2005

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Wow, I commend you on your post. You really put some effort into this.
Still, I see a good deal of weaknesses with your setup. I have a setup of my own, but I won't share it just yet. Instead, I'll comment on your setup:
Quote
Brawl which gives the Red or Time Mage decent early attack potential from the back row early on
I don't completely agree with this. Since unarmed damage will be halved, Flail/elemental rods should be just as good, and you can use the extra ability slot for something else.
Quote
One of the high-HP group - does not pair with the Knight, Samurai or Monk.
Knight is actually a good choice to pair with heavy melee jobs like Berserker. Double Grip is an excellent ability to add if the character is already heavily armoured.
Quote
Sadly this is usually keyed to the elemental alignment of the area you are in; bearing in mind the enemy will often be keyed to this as well, the random effects may heal them making this unreliable at best
I'm not a Geomancer expert, but I believe the game was designed to avoid this problem. Very rarely will the enemy be immune to the elements of its terrain. I'm going to experiment a bit more on this before going in detail.
Quote
Aqua Rake is bugged in fact
Aqua Rake is non-elemental, but does bonus damage versus Desert creatures.

The main problem with your team is that you value versatility too much. Because all characters can do basically anything, they don't get the benefits of being specialized in a certain field. The cost of equipment to your team will also be very high, since you will most likely need more than one set of each armor type throughout the game.

Remember that Double Grip can be a great asset to Berserker, Mystic Knight, Samurai and the mages. Dual wield works great with Thief, Dragoon, Mediator and Dancer.
Post #164300
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Posted: 25th March 2008 13:13
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Joined: 16/3/2008


Well, yes I do value versatility. Hands up. I don't think I value it 'too much' though - I've really thought long and hard about this class setup. In some circumstances - the Sol Cannon for example - having a range of elemental attacks like Ramuh, Thunder Scroll, Bolt2 Sword and Bolt 2 are an asset so great it will not have time to use its attack once. Having Butz as a Monk with Buildup against ArcheoAvis while Galuf throws Shuriken, Lenna attacks as a Thief (weak link again), and Faris attacks with Blowfish will blast the boss quickly without having to worry about elemental silliness.

I've constructed this class setup through playing through the game time after time, each near-complete playthrough testing the combination. I did at one point combine the Knight and Beserker, which was a very impressive damage combo. However in the due course of time certain classes kind of 'lumped together' as natural partners, and it was around these and the plot that I built my setup.

Red/Time/Summon/Mimic/Monk is such a powerful combo that I couldn't not use it. I didn't really use Brawl that much - there was so much more that was more useful - but with critical hits it is better than most of the Summoner's, Red Mage's and Time Mage's weapons. Also you don't have to put the character in the back row - if you're trying to conserve MP then Butz can go up front. We have a healer. Later in the game Butz gets powerful magical attacks, but that's okay. Brawl gets its day. Dragoon will also allow him to sap MP, which in case of emergency will be a lifesaver. You and me are probably far too good at FF5 to be there in the first place, but this is an Optimal challenge, and I include the theory as well as the practice in my decision.

Lenna is a weak link, though I think you're right about the Geomancer - I haven't really done my homework there. My experiences have in the most part been positive with this class; I have fond memories of Wind Slash in Exdeath's Castle. Nevertheless I put Lenna's weakness in the hands of the Beserker. I have ranted at length about this class and will not do so again here; suffice it to say that mastering this class will only bear fruit in the Void when she can transfer the stat boost to the Normal class... The advantage to the crummy class setup is she is free to spend a lot of time Stealing, and some of the loot is very rare and valuable! The Trainer class is great for Control, which as I'm sure you're aware is mind bogglingly useful.

One thing I was careful of was classes which eclipse each other. Once I had Galuf my Samurai - never again! You do not want to have to choose between GPToss and White when fighting a boss. The setup is such that everything will at some point be used, and useful. Trust me, I'm on my second playthrough now looking for flaws and still can't find any trades which strengthen one character more than the other.

I was determined not to pair White with Knight as the Paladin was such a stereotype, but that was how the chips fell - I had to spread the first-generation classes across all the characters. (If I had access to them all from the outset things would probably be different). Fact is that White is easy to train early on while potions and items will beat White Magic once you are at the Steamship, so it made sense to give him DblGrip. Archer-Ninja is a fixture I personally don't find over-useful, and I find having my healer as my dual-wielder late-game is a weakness. I'm not too sure what to do about this - swapping Ninja and Elementalist is a possibility though early-game elemental damage would suffer, and throw beats Flare when you use Pinwheels/Fuuma. Eclipsing again, I try to be balanced in my approach. The Dancer is just great though. Average damage is slightly above the weapon default.

Faris is pretty unusual, in that - uniquely among the party members - she is free of any fixtures aside from the Blue/MysticKnight pairing. I'm not going to go into too much depth save to say that this is how things arranged themselves and that it worked reasonably well. That said there is Mix/Combine jockeying for attention with Slash and Blue and Sing. I can only say that nine ability slots is not enough! No class setup can resolve this matter.

I'd welcome your further feedback, and invite you to try out the setup. I've tried for an easy ride earlygame, midgame and lategame and played right through to Exdeath with no problems; indeed, I have once killed Siren without the transformation to undead and routinely beat Magisa before Forza can appear.

There are weaknesses - the Dragoon, Beserker, Dancer and MysticKnight are seldom used. I believe they may be the least useful classes in the game...

Try it out and compare it with the class setup you have in mind. This is really the only fair way of judging which is the superior setup.
Post #164556
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Posted: 25th March 2008 22:54

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Onion Knight
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Joined: 27/10/2005

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Okay, it's time to show my personal setup of choice.
This has also been developed through many playthroughs.
Note that this team is for a non-mimic game.
Code
Butz    Lenna   Galuf   Faris

Knight  White   Black   Thief
690     580     680     630
Blue    Summon  Red     Time Mage
350     750     1159    530
MKnight Hunter  Mediat  Ninja
680     600     460     690  
Bersk   Dragoon Chemist Monk
500     600     630     700
Samurai Bard    Geo     Dancer
820     175     175     400

3040    2705    3104    2950

Details on each area here.

This is a classic team, which finds a balance between versatility and specialization.
Butz and Faris are clearly separated from Lenna and Galuf in terms of field, but all characters has some basic skill in both physical and magic abilities.
- All of Butz' jobs can be used with Double Grip
- Faris combines 2-hands and Dance for a very devastating combo (50% chance for up to 20000 damage)
- All characters have at least one magic ability and affinity for at least one decent weapon (Lenna and Galuf both have back a row weapon).
- All characters have an MP absorbing technique at some point.
- The setup has the same "Thunder" benefit versus Sol Cannon you mentioned
- Downside: It's very tempting to switch Monk for Chemist, giving Faris item affinity (thus making all characters have some healing skill) in exchange for a rather useless job, but I wanted her to have the Counter-Attack ability. Maybe on my next playthrough.
- Downside: X-fight will not be taken advantage of

I believe you have what it takes to try this Expert hack, by JCE300GT: - IPS patch
The patch has been slightly customized by me.
It's not very thoroughly designed, but it boosts the challenge a bit.

Maybe I'll take your team for a spin sometime soon.

This post has been edited by Jorgur on 1st April 2008 16:16
Post #164583
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Posted: 28th March 2008 20:01
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Returner
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Joined: 16/3/2008


I'd really love to try the expert hack, but the only copy I have ever come across is in Japanese. I'm going to take the IPS patch as English on faith, but I play FF5 for the story at least as much as for the scintillating gameplay so unless I can convince someone wise in these matters to anglicise the patch, I'll be unlikely to spend much time with it.

Please don't misinterpret this. Some are different, but for me the story IS the game, just as much as the gameplay is... Would it patch over a translated file?

Finally, I have taken a look at your setup... and fallen in love with it. It isn't good for a Mimic game - the Time/Red/Summon/Mimic combo is just way too powerful even if short of some serious powerlevelling you'll be unable to enjoy it until later on - but I'll use it as a base to get that power going. After trying the setup without the Mimic game. Um, I realise that if I do that your party setup will have several underpinning tenets pulled from under its feet, so I'll have to see how the chips fall. Naturally I'll share my conclusions with you.

Butz' character classes are inspired. You'll always find a use for Blue, and having a DblGrip-centric character was a trick I failed to hit upon, shame on me.

Lenna is an unusal choice which I haven't seen before... I'll have to play through to really appreciate how that works together. Would I be correct in assuming that Dragoon was given purely for manadrain? If so, why didn't you pair it with Ninja in place of Dancer...? Ahh yes, that lovely 20000 damage. It would be quite a trick, but if you could squeeze the Dragoon into a pairing with the Ninja or Knight somehow you'd be able to get massive damage out of the class. I'm rambling... I'll need to take a good look at this.

I take issue with pairing Red with Black, as I find Summon more powerful. Remember most bosses don't have tremendous elemental weaknesses, which gives Bahamut serious punch. I'll naturally play the class setup out before I give any sort of final word on the subject, but I would appreciate it if you were to qualify that point as Red doesn't really come into play with X-Magic until late on anyway. I also think this character is overloaded, as Mix will be competing with Black/X-Magic and Control. Technically Terrain too if you like to use it a lot.

Faris looks good. The Thief has many areas of use - one day I'll find them all - and pairing BothHands with Dance can give fireworks as you've stated. Time Mage is a useful class in so many situations, though the discipline does have a tendency to be eclipsed later on. You should try the Monk out before you write it off - early on, with BuildUp, it is a monster of a class and takes a while - well, most of the game - to be eclipsed by better classes. I should also reiterate that offense is the best defense, and that outside of bosses a front-row Brawling mage can do some fantastic damage. Yes, the character will require regular healing, but the Chemist class makes MP much less of an issue once you get the hang of things.

My preliminary verdict is largely positive, and as I said I can hardly judge without going through the process of using the classes. I'd consider the apparent areas of weakness I've highlighted, and would welcome your feedback - perhaps there are specific reasons for doing things this way I've overlooked. In fact I'd be surprised if there weren't!

That said, I still am immensely fond of my own creation for all its faults, and was able to literally walk the game with it. It should prove interesting comparing the two.

EDIT: You're worth keeping an eye on... I've opened the PM channel my side if there's anything relevant that would clog up your thread.

Wishing you great health and clear thoughts,

Targ Collective

This post has been edited by Targ Collective on 28th March 2008 20:14
Post #164787
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Posted: 1st April 2008 00:54

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Onion Knight
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Member of more than five years. 
First of all: Yes, the patch can be applied to a translated ROM.

Okay, Dragoon. Yes, I gave it to Lenna mainly for DragonSword. I've tested the Dragoon on all four characters, and have learned that you need a high Magic stat in order to get decent manadrain, so I decided on a magic focused character. Note that spears can not we used with Double grip, only 2-hands.

The X-magic ability is always the big question. I've tried pairing it with Black mage + Time mage, which was a total failiure (no mimic). The character was just too overloaded. I started spreading the three major magic jobs after that game.
Here's why I paired it with Black:
It had to be put on a magic focused character (Lenna or Galuf). Since the first jobs almost require White and Black to be separated (something I recommend anyway), the choice was between either of them. To avoid overloading, Summon had to be given to the other magic character. I found Black+Summon and White+Red to be too large a loss in versatility, so the choice fell naturally on Black+Red / White+Summon.
Anyway, Black+Red has its uses. High level Black magic gives a very helpful boost to the magic stat while training the Red mage. With Black+X-magic, the MP won't get sapped away as quickly as it would with Summon, plus, you can often put in an extra Psych spell as well, when you finish off a weak enemy.
Concerning what you said about Bahamut being non-elemental: The Black mage and Summoner have some things in common; the three way element spells, exotic elements (Summon have Water and Earth, Black have Poison), and finally, the non-elemental defense break spells (Bahamut and Flare). All of these spells behave similarly, the only exception Summon being Multi-target (without halved damage). And, the fact is, that most bosses come alone. Summoner makes an effective killer against random encounters (where a single spell often is enough), but the Black mage will prove a more efficient boss-killer with it's low-cost spells.

Note on the Geomancer: I've found out that the Terrain spells mainly are Earth and Air elemental. These two elements use a reversed kind of element logic: Birds, for example, being regarded as "Air" creatures, are immune against the opposing element (Earth).
In river terrain, you'll often find water type monsters, usually with water immunity (?). In this terrain, the Geomancer uses some water-like spells, like whirlpool and Tsunami. To one's surprise, these spells are actually non-elemental.

This post has been edited by Jorgur on 11th April 2008 13:13
Post #164994
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Posted: 11th March 2012 07:50
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Returner
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Joined: 11/3/2012


I am a long time fan of Final Fantasy games, and I recently encountered this gem of a game. I am super obsessive about these kinds of highly customizable RPG's, and I still haven't completed a single run through yet.

I especially enjoy the idea of this challenge, as it allows for the full experience of the game, while still maintaining a strong team. It is really tempting just to build a team of all monks that can attack 8 times with elemental damage, but I imagine it would be very overpowered in the end game, and cumbersome to play in the middle...

I propose this variation, using two dedicated physical attackers and two dedicated mages.

I decided to ignore the "No Mimes" challenge, because I still haven't even had a chance to play them, and they seem to make very good mages.

I borrowed the job information from the "Spoiler-Free Job Planning Guide" by rey meustrus at Gamefaqs...


Code
Character/Job  Str   Agi   Sta   Mag |  ABP | Highlights                                                    
Bartz           23    14    25    23    3040                                  
Knight        +23   + 1   +20   -14 |  690 | *Cover, !Guard, Two-Handed      
Mystic Knight +14   +14   +14   + 1 |  680 | !Spellblade                      
Samurai       +19   + 2   +19   -12 |  820 | *Shirahadori, !Ianuki            
Berserker     +21   - 9   +25   -23 |  500-|                                  
Blue Mage     - 8   + 1   + 3   +23 |  350 | *Learning, !Blue                
                                                                             
                                                                             
Lena            18    12    15    33    2970                                  
White Mage    - 7   + 1   ~ 0   +25 |  580 | !White                          
Summoner      -10   - 1   - 1   +33 |  750 | !Summon                          
Dragoon       +18   + 5   +15   -12 |  600 | !Jump                            
Beastmaster   +13   + 1   + 8   - 3 |  460 | !Control, Equip Whips            
Bard          - 8   + 8   - 9   +11 |  175-| !Sing                            
Geomancer     + 4   + 2   + 4   +24 |  175-| !Gaia, *Find Pits, *Light Step  
                                                                             
                                                                             
Galuf           26     5    26    31    3119                                  
Monk          +26   + 1   +26   -23 |  700 | *Barehanded, *Counter            
Black Mage    - 9   ~ 0   - 2   +31 |  730 | !Black                          
Time Mage     - 5   + 2   - 3   +24 |  530 | !Time                            
Red Mage      + 8   + 5   - 6   + 8 | 1159 | !Dualcast                        
                                                                             
Faris           15    14    10    24    2955                                      
Thief         + 1   +16   + 2   - 6 |  635 | *Passages, *Sprint, *Vigilance  
Ninja         +15   +14   + 3   -10 |  690 | !Throw, *Dual-Wield              
Dancer        + 5   + 5   +10   - 5 |  400 | !Dance, Equip Ribbons            
Chemist       + 2   + 3   + 6   - 4 |  630 | *Pharmacology, !Mix, !Drink      
Ranger        +16   +12   + 1   - 5 |  600 | Equip Bows, !Rapidfire          


I just couldn't resist making two characters with superpowers: namely Faris (two weapons with !Rapidfire or !Dance), and Galuf (!Dualcast + !Black + !Time).

Each character really seems to have a lot going for it, and they build on strengths rather than aiming for balance. This means some of the stats are not ideal, but I thought it might be more interesting that way anyway.

I really liked your plan for Bartz, going 2-handed all the way. And I also like the idea of mana drain with Dragoon (I think this suits a white make well). I went for !Black over !Summon for Galuf because of the spell Asper. This provides a way to really unload over and over, with !doublecast and Quick

I tried to keep the ABP balanced, but Galuf just needed to have some extra... I think it is worth it though.

Tell me what you think (if anyone is still looking here)
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